The Curious Case of Indian Elections
In the midst of allegation and counter-allegation season of Indian politics, the run-up to 2009 Lok Sabha polls has some heart-warming developments as well. The list of candidates dominated by dynastic and criminal credentials includes some successful non-political personalities this time.
Captain GR Gopinath, CMD, Deccan Express Logistics is contesting as an independent candidate from Bangalore for the April-May Lok Sabha elections. GR Gopinath is identified with revolutionizing air travel in India through the low cost Air Deccan Airline service. Victory for him is defined as getting 20% people involved in civic activities.
Meera Sanyal, Country Head of ABN Amro Bank will be contesting as an independent candidate from South Mumbai. Her five point agenda and master plan for Mumbai is hosted on her website www.meerahsanyal.in
Meera’s video message on her site is impressive and unlike the hosts of election messages we are used to listening. She has a huge support base at face book and aspires to revive the qualities of intellect and ideals in Indian politics.
Dr. Mallika Sarabhai is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar against veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani. She again is an independent candidate and is making extensive use of the web (She has a website at http://mallikasarabhai.in/) to spread her message and attract voters.
According to N.R. Narayanan Murthy, independent candidates have the potential of strengthening Indian Democracy. But in the murky waters of Indian politics there is little hope that these candidates will emerge victorious. Nevertheless, it is commendable that intellectuals in India are aspiring to make a distinct impact on the voters rather than merely contesting to win a seat. The socio-political contribution of such candidates cannot be measured through electoral victories. But the fact that such well-deserving candidates do not manage to secure electoral success raises serious questions about the intelligence of the Indian voter. Will we continue to evade responsibility by taking refuge in the traditional excuse that illiterate majorities decide election results in India?
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